ISLAMABAD - People from different walks of life have welcomed the much-awaited launch of Lahore-Quetta-Mashad flight which will greatly benefit zaireen of holy places in Iran.

   The commencement of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) twice a week direct flight operation to Mashad, Iran will fulfil longstanding demand of the people who had to use land routes to visit holy shrines in Iran, said Mazhar Hussain who visited Iran last year.    

A lady passenger who is planning to visit Iran, appreciated this initiative of the national flag carrier and thanked Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Aviation, Shujaat Azeem on the commencement of Lahore-Quetta-Mashad flight.

She said that the launch of this route would facilitate the zaireen and help save precious lives as a number of zaireen using land route to Iran had been targeted by the terrorists in the past.

Ghulam Shifa, a travel agent expressed the pleasure on the launch of flight to Iran and said that direct flight to Mashad would reduce the travelling timing.

Previously, the zaireen had to use third country to go there as direct services were not available in Pakistan, he added.

Expressing pleasure over commencement of PIA flight to Mashad, Director Marketing PIA, Sohail Yaqoob the direct flight would fulfill the long standing demand of the people of Pakistan.

He said that on the instructions of Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif PIA has started flights to Mashad.

The flight is being operated on pure commercial basis and the first flight left for Mashad with full load.

He said that the airline plans to add new destinations to PIA network while increasing frequencies of its existing flights.

PIA is also planning to operate flights to Najaf, Iraq.  He said that under the guidance of Shujaat Azeem for the revival of PIA, the airline is in the process of acquiring newer versions of fuel efficient aircraft to be inducted in PIA fleet.

As soon as PIA gets the required number of aircraft more flights will be operated, he added.